I’m a huge lover of Christmas and love everything about it!! Its literally the best time of year for me and I get so excited every year. This year I thought I would find out where some of our best loved traditions actually come from so I have some interesting stories here for you.
Who doesn’t love these little candy canes? The story of how they came about is a choirmaster in 1670, was worried that the children wouldn’t keep quiet during the Christmas Nativity service, so he gave them these to eat to keep them quiet. However, the J shape is to represent the shepherd’s crook, to remind them of the shepherd’s that visited Baby Jesus! The red stripes were added around 1900 along with the peppermint flavour. Some people say the J shape can mean Jesus, the white part is the purity and the red is the blood that he shed when he died on the cross. Who knew the meaning behind these yummy sticks? Do you have candy canes at Christmas?
There are lots of stories about how we came to have Christmas trees in our homes. Here’s one of the stories that I haven’t heard before. Due to Pagan lore indicating that December through to January are the coldest months of the year, it was believed that evil spirits were at their strongest during these months. To get rid of these evil spirits, evergreens were brought into homes as symbols of protection. They were lit with candles and the idea was to light up the dark, cold conditions and thereby shoo away the spirits!
I love crackers!! I love the little gifts inside, the corny jokes and cheesy hats! They were first made in 1845-1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith. By imitating the French ‘bon bon’ sweets and including a riddle or small motto inside, the idea didn’t sell very well. However, by watching the sparks and crackle of logs burning in the fire, he thought what fun would it be if sweets and toys could be opened with a crack when the fancy wrapper was pulled in half. When Tom died, his brothers took over the expanding business and introduced the hats into crackers. They look like crowns and are meant to represent the three wise men. Do you have crackers on your Christmas table?
There are various different stories of how candles are associated with Christmas but no-one knows the real origin of how they are connected. During ancient winter solstice celebrations, they were used to remember that Spring is on its way. In the middle ages a large candle represented the Star of Bethlehem. The most famous use of candles is the Carols by Candlelight services where the church is only lit by candles.
They were also used to decorate Christmas trees! Fire hazard or what! Until safer electric fairy lights were introduced.
I love candlelight and nothing is cosier than when my room is lit with just candles and Christmas lights. Yankee candles are my favourite, which ones do you like?
The ancient Druids first started hanging mistletoe in their homes, its supposed to possess mystical powers which can ward off evil spirits and bring good luck! Its also a Norse symbol of love and friendship and that’s where kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
It is an English custom and the story goes, if a berry was picked from a sprig of mistletoe, you could kiss someone, but once all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing.
Who will you be kissing under the mistletoe this Christmas?
I hope you have enjoyed reading these little tales of Christmas traditions.
Do you have any Christmas traditions in your home? I’d love to know!
I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!